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Can You Connect The Dots?

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” 

How many of you have heard this quote from Steve Jobs before? 

Do you really understand what it means? 

It’s something I’ve been pondering as I’ve taken some time to look back at my leadership journey and uncover the common thread that’s been there even before I became a leader. 

And here’s why I think that you should take this as a sign to do some deep reflection and really connect the dots in your own journey…

Sometimes, the most profound insights come from looking back and understanding how far we’ve come.

Self-reflection is a quiet moment with yourself. It’s like pressing pause in the middle of a busy day to check in and see how you’re really doing. This practice allows us to dive deep into our thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

By doing so, we gain valuable insights that can help us grow both personally and professionally. When we reflect, we’re able to understand our behaviours better, recognise our strengths, and identify areas for improvement. When we understand the patterns behind our habits and routines, we can make better choices that align with who we truly are and what we want from life. 

Self-awareness is the foundation of any positive change, and self-reflection is the tool that helps us build this foundation.

Knowing ourselves better means we can make decisions that feel right and authentic. This sense of clarity and purpose can guide us through even the most challenging situations with confidence.

One of the greatest benefits of self-reflection is that it helps us understand our emotions without judgement.

Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage our emotions, is crucial for effective leadership. By regularly reflecting on our emotional responses, we can become more aware of what triggers our feelings and how to handle them better.

When we explore the roots of our emotions, we uncover the beliefs and triggers that influence our reactions. This deeper understanding not only improves our relationships but also helps us stay calm and composed under pressure. By being more in tune with our emotions, we can connect with others on a deeper level and strengthen our leadership skills.

Getting started with self-reflection doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few easy tips:

Set Time Aside

The first step to forming any new habit is by scheduling time to get started. It might start as only 5-10 minutes at the end of each week and slowly become 5 minutes at the end of each day as you begin building up your self-reflection skills. 

Find a Reflection Buddy

Sometimes, talking things through with someone else can be incredibly helpful. Find a friend, mentor, or family member to reflect with. Discussing your day or week can provide new insights and help you see things from a different perspective.

Write it Out

Writing can be a powerful way to process your thoughts, so much som, that it’s become part of my daily routine and I encourage nearly all of my clients to start journaling. Even if no one else ever reads your words, putting them on paper can help you clarify your ideas and feelings. Just let the words flow and see where they take you.

Remember, it’s only by looking back that we can connect the dots.

These practices are not just about personal growth; they’re essential for effective leadership whether that’s leadership at work, or simply self-leadership. By nurturing these habits, you can lead with authenticity, empathy, and a deep understanding of yourself and others. 

Take a moment to pause, look back, and appreciate the extraordinary path you’re walking.

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